This MGM short, part of the Crime does not Pay series, focuses on industrial sabotage during wartime. After a valuable shipment of manganese is blown up at a plant, the FBI try to find out ... See full summary »


(as Joe Newman)


(original story), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
FBI Agent Jack Sampson (as Don Douglas)
Beulah Anderson aka Beulah Binvicko
FBI Agent Freed
Otto aka Anatole


This MGM short, part of the Crime does not Pay series, focuses on industrial sabotage during wartime. After a valuable shipment of manganese is blown up at a plant, the FBI try to find out how information on the manganese shipment was found out. They get a lead on one of the plotters, Beulah Anderson, who as a waitress in a café gets to pick up all kinds of scuttlebutt from the innocent but loose talking clients. Once they figure out how she is sending the information she gathers, the FBI sets a trap. The moral of the story is: Don't Talk! Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Short






Release Date:

28 February 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Crime Does Not Pay Subject: 'Don't Talk'  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dwight Frye plays a saboteur trying to stop the shipment of machine tools from a defense plant. Somewhat ironic as when he died the year after this was made, the death certificate had him listed as being a tool designer since he was working at Lockheed to do his bit in the war effort. See more »


[first lines]
MGM Crime Reporter: Once again, as the MGM crime reporter, it is my privilege to bring you another episode in our Crime Does Not Pay series. For obvious reasons, the events and characters depicted herein are fictitious. My I present Mr. Jack Sampson, special agent in charge of a field division office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
FBI Agent Jack Sampson: Our war program, the most unprecedented in history, calls not only for the production of tanks and guns, planes and ships, but also for the building of a defense ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Crime Does Not Pay
3 February 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Don't Talk (1942)

*** (out of 4)

Oscar-nominated short from MGM's Crime Does Not Pay series. This story centers around a Communist group who are spying through people simply going to a deli or beauty salon. The spies are working at these type of places and listening to people talk about their jobs, which is how information is spread around and various objects destroyed by these groups. This film comes off more like a WW2 propaganda film than an entry in the series but either way the movie works fairly well. The story itself, asking people not to talk, seems a bit far fetched today but I'm really not sure how it would have been taken back in the day. This wasn't the only short to deal with people talking too much as we also had Mr. Blabbermouth!, which was released the same year as this film and it too received an Oscar nomination. We also get some nice performances from a familiar cast including Barry Nelson as an FBI agent and Gloria Holden, from Dracula's Daughter, as a waitress doing some of the spying. There's some nice shoot outs at the end as well.

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